Hacktoberfest, in its eight year, is a month-long celebration of open source software run by DigitalOcean. During the month of October, DigitalOcean invites everyone from open-source software enthusiasts to beginners to contribute to open-source projects. Coming into October, 2021, I hadn’t participated in any open source project. My perfectionist nature combined with my phobia for having my work out there combined for a nervous Salim.
What if someone thinks I am a fraud and my code is trash?
What if I mess the code up?
What if my pull requests and by extension, my contributions does not get merged (or gets ignored)?
All these and more made sure I never made that big leap to start contributing to Open Source projects. However, midway through October, I realized a couple of my peers were participating in the Hacktoberfest and that motivated me to try as well. As of today, I have contributed to 15 projects (all in October), created 23 pull requests and raised 4 issues. Along with that, I am on track to completing my make-a-contribution-everyday-in-October streak. Follow me on github to follow my streaks.
As you probably guessed, creating my first pull request made me extremely nervous. I was so nervous that my code would be out there. Sure, a chunk of my repositories are public, however, it is a whole different ballgame when you submit a pull request for review. About a week ago, I wrote an article on my first pull request. I gave the impression that that was my first pull request, however, it was only the first merged one. Prior to that one, a large chunk of them had been closed. Amongst them, particular one piqued my interest. Whilst all other pull requests were just closed without a valid explanation, the maintainers of this project also decided to explain their decision to close my pull request, and that singular act won my heart and makes the project my favourite so far. Communication is such an important part of the Open Source world that it’s often overlooked and not emphasized quite enough. That my mistakes was explained to me made me feel special and like I was truly a member of the community. I might be making a huge leap with this but boy, did I feel loved. And more importantly, I had learnt something new. I mean, isn’t that the point of open source in the first place? Still on communicating, the maintainers of the project created a Telegram where contributors can network with one another.
Hacktoberfest as a global event has certain values and my favourite is the value #2 (Quantity is fun, quality is key) which implies that quality trumps quantity. A dogma I also live by. That action was making me understand that I had to submit quality pull requests and not just a large quantity.
The name of the project is owned by Dhananjay Porwal. It is an Open Source resource of their implementation in any Programming Language. The project allows contributors contribute in a plethora of languages. I mostly contributed in C++ and Python.